"My whole world crashed": Man mourns deaths of seven family members, including five children, in terrible car crash
“I fell on the ground. I wanted to throw myself against a wall. I wanted my pain outside to match what I felt inside"
Last Sunday, Louis Johnson kissed his daughter, her three children; his girlfriend and her two children goodbye as they set off from their Tacoma, Washington, home for a road trip to Las Vegas.
Though he was planning to fly to Las Vegas and meet them there for a week-long family vacation, little did he know that it would be the last time that he would be seeing them. All seven them were killed after their vehicle met with a horrific accident on the way
“I kissed them goodbye. I told them, ‘I’ll see you tomorrow,’ ” Johnson told People magazine, even adding that they all lived in the same home. “I told them to keep me updated. Then the accident happened.”
Johnson’s daughter Erika Boquet, along with her three children, his girlfriend, Kyla Brown and her two children, died Monday morning after a 1999 Toyota4Runner crossed into their lane and rammed into their 2016 Toyota 4Runner. The incident took place around 10 am, according to Oregon State Police. The driver of the 1999 Toyota 4Runner, Mark Robert Rundell also died in the collision. The accident is under investigation, as per reports.
According to reports, Brown sent Johnson a photo of their location just minutes before the crash took place. Johnson even recalled getting a “butt dial” phone call from Brown in which he heard commotion happening during the unfortunate incident. At the time, he gave no thought to it but was filled with regret around 6 pm when police told him that the family was in an accident, and no one survived.
“When he said, ‘There’s been an accident,’ my whole world changed,” Johnson recalls of the moments the officer broke the news. “They told me there were no survivors. I’m like, ‘How do seven people not survive?’ At least one person always survives, by some miracle. I’ve never seen an accident like that. Seven lives.”
The father and grandfather said he was devastated when he got the news. “I fell on the ground. I wanted to throw myself against a wall. I wanted my pain outside to match what I felt inside,” Johnson said. “I expected them to be there in 30 minutes. They were coming to see me, and that made me feel like it was my fault.”
After the accident, Johnson returned home to Tacoma, but despite all the help and support he is getting from friends and family, he can barely cope with the deaths. “I don’t eat. I don’t sleep. I have ringing in my ears. You can’t describe the loss, the pain,” the grieving father and grandfather said through tears. “I’m sitting in my home now and they aren’t coming back here. I’m trying to be strong, but my whole world crashed. One moment I don’t want it to be real, then I realize it’s too real.”
Johnson says he’s going to miss laughing and playing with his family since they were all very close-knit as a group. “I miss everything about them. I miss Kyla telling me to put the seat down, telling Arianna to do her homework. I miss my grandbabies being rambunctious,” he recalled. “I miss their lives. I’m dealing with a loss of seven. Everyone in that car meant something to me.”